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Putin Holds Talks With Visiting Vatican Secretary Of State

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) meets with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin in Sochi on August 23.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has held talks with the visiting Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin in the Russian city of Sochi.

Putin praised the ties of the Russian Orthodox Church with the Vatican at the talks held on August 23, Russian news agencies report.

"We appreciate the constructive trust-based dialogue between the Holy See and Russia," Putin said. "The agreements reached during my contacts with Pope Francis are being consistently implemented as well, and we are very happy that the interchurch dialogue continues."

On August 22 in Moscow, Parolin met with Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Kirill praised relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Vatican, insisting that the two have similar positions on a variety of international issues.

Parolin voiced hope that his visit will help strengthen ties, but warned that patience will be needed to achieve results, Russian agencies said.

During his meeting with Putin at the Vatican in June 2015, Pope Francis urged the Russian president to commit himself to a "sincere and great effort" for peace in eastern Ukraine, where fighting between government forces and Russia-backed separatists has killed more than 10,000 people since April 2014.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS